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Brandi Chastain

SOCCER BUSINESS

August 23, 2012
SOCCER BUSINESS
Sounders shopping for shirtfront sponsor

Seattle Sounders FC have hired CAA Sports to help identify potential shirtfront sponsors for after their current partnership with Xbox expires at the end of next season.
Seattle Sounders FC have hired CAA Sports to help identify potential shirtfront sponsors for after their current partnership with Xbox expires at the end of next season.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
The Seattle Sounders are looking for a new shirt front sponsor.

The team, which has one year remaining in its deal with current sponsor Xbox, has hired CAA Sports to explore opportunities in the marketplace for their jersey partnership, beginning with the 2014 MLS season.

The five-year deal with the Microsoft division was reportedly worth $20 million, and it’s a good bet the team has hired CAA to find an even bigger deal, especially in light of the team's unprecedented success.


Seattle set an MLS record for attendance with an average of 30,897 during their inaugural season in 2009, only to surpass that mark in 2010 with an average of 36,173 and again in 2011 with an average of 38,498. This season, Sounders FC are averaging 42,666. According to the club, that average would rank fourth in Italian Serie A, and fifth in Spain’s La Liga, sixth in the English Premier League and 13th in the German Bundesliga.
Seattle's 2012 attendance average also would currently rank fifth in MLB and first in the NBA and NHL. Last season, Sounders FC drew 654,431 fans for MLS matches, and the club is on pace for more than 700,000 fans this season.

Sounders FC local television ratings rank first in the league, and would rank in the top third in the NHL and top half in the NBA, according to CAA.

According to the club, Seattle has led MLS in merchandise sales each of its first three full seasons. The team's website, SoundersFC.com, is the most-visited club website in MLS with more than 48 million page views and six million visitors since the club's launch in 2009. The team has nearly 270,000 likes on Facebook and has more than 50,000 followers on Twitter.


Liverpool-Roma has an impact
The July 25 Fenway Park match between AS Roma and Liverpool helped inject millions into the City of Boston and the region's visitor economy.

According to the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, the more than 37,000 fans who attended the sold-out match, international media from the U.S., Canada, and Europe covering the two teams, and several days of training and community events, helped generate nearly $9.4 million in visitor spending to Boston and the region.

The impact to the region's visitor economy was close to seven times greater than that of a regular season Red Sox home game, which typically generates around $1.4 million.

Ratings
Viewership of the MLS game on Friday, August 10, which followed Olympics coverage and featured the NY Red Bulls against the Houston Dynamo, were up 271 percent from the 2011 regular-season average on Fox Soccer. After 23 regular season games, the MLS on NBC Sports is up 115 percent in average viewership compared to the 2011 regular season average on Fox Soccer (146,000 vs. 68,000).

Sponsor deals
YoCrunch has become a sponsor of US Youth Soccer, and will provide helpful snacking resources including a snacking guide and team snack list available on USYouthSoccer.org. Special offers on YoCrunch products and an online soccer game also will be available on the site throughout the sponsorship.

The U.S. Soccer Federation has a new hotel partner, Marriott. Marriott's new partnership includes the U.S. Soccer Men's, Women's and Youth National Teams, as well as the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, through 2014.


Pat Lobb Auto Group has signed on as the newest FC Dallas signature sponsor with a multiyear partnership. FC Dallas Stadium patrons will see at least a dozen vehicles among its growing presence on site at every event. The auto group also will sponsor the team’s annual King Tut youth tournament each July.


Broadcast deals
CONCACAF has signed a pair of new broadcasting deals. FOX Soccer has a new four-year agreement to broadcast the CONCACAF Gold Cup and CONCACAF Champions League. The agreement starts with the current CONCACAF Champions League season, and continues through the 2015-2016 edition of the tournament. The deal also covers the 2013 and 2015 Gold Cups, giving FOX Soccer exclusive English-language rights in the United States to both of CONCACAF’s showpiece events.

Additionally, FOX Soccer has the option of showcasing all CONCACAF Champions League and Gold Cup matches through its wide array of digital platforms, including FOXSoccer.com and FOXSoccer 2Go.

Fútbol de Primera will be the exclusive Spanish-language radio broadcaster in the United States of the 2013 and 2015 editions of CONCACAF Gold Cup. FDP, which has carried the Gold Cup since 2007, will transmit the competition on its more than 100-affiliated stations (40 of which are on the FM dial) across the country. Gold Cup broadcasts will be anchored by Andrés Cantor, who will lead the play-by-play coverage throughout the tournament.


A day after announcing it had acquired all the U.S. National Team's road qualifying World Cup games, beIN Sport inked a deal with Comcast to carry the channel. beIN SPORT will be available in Spanish on the Xfinity TV MultiLatino Package and in English on the Xfinity TV Sports Entertainment Package. Availability of both channels will vary by market.

New broadcasts
FOX Soccer has launched a new one-hour nightly newscast, FOX Soccer News. The 10:00pm ET show will air 365 days a year and will feature news and highlights from around the world.

The hour-long program is hosted by Brendan Dunlop, formerly of The Footy Show on Canadian Sports Network, The Score, and The Hardcore Footy Show on Hardcore Sports Radio (Sirius XM). Dunlop is joined by former Canadian National Team captain Colin Miller, along with fellow analysts Thomas Rongen and Bobby McMahon. Former Canadian Women’s National Team forward Kara Lang joins Dunlop for hosting duty.



Integrated Sports Media will be delivering the action of several CONCACAF World Cup qualifying matches as the national squads fight for a spot in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

Integrated Sports Media's coverage in September will include games featuring the national teams of Jamaica, Guatemala, Honduras, Cuba, El Salvador, Guyana and Antigua & Barbuda.

SCHEDULE:
Friday, Sept. 7
Guatemala vs. Antigua & Barbuda – 10 pm ET (WCQ - Group A)
El Salvador vs. Guyana – 9:30 pm ET - (WCQ - Group B)
Cuba vs. Honduras - 3 pm ET - (WCQ -Group C)

Tuesday, Sept. 11
Antigua and Barbuda vs. Guatemala – 7 pm ET (WCQ - Group A)
Guyana vs. El Salvador – 8 pm ET – (WCQ - Group B)
Honduras vs. Cuba – 9:30 pm ET - (WCQ - Group C)

SoCal Swoosh
Cal South and Nike announced have renewed their long-standing sponsorship agreement. Nike remains Cal South's official apparel and equipment sponsor supporting all of Cal South's elite youth identification and development programs. The new agreement extends the longest-standing apparel sponsor relationship in youth soccer for five years into 2017.



   
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